The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a U.S. government agency with a proud history with several important discoveries that improve health and save lives. Over the years, 169 Nobel Prize winners have either conducted their research at the NIH or received support from the NIH. Major discoveries include the development of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), understanding of how viruses can cause cancer and knowledge of how the brain processes visual information. The NIH’s roots go back to 1887.
The NIH consists of 27 different units. Each unit has its own specific research agenda, often focusing on specific diseases or bodily functions. 24 of the 27 entities receive their grants directly from the US Congress. NIH is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Some research is conducted at the Bethesda campus, but more than 80 percent of the research activities are conducted by researchers around the US and the world.
One of the programs that NIH runs is called PSPP – Preclinical Screening Platform for Pain. The program stems from the urgent need to reduce the use of opioid-based drugs through the development of new, non-opioid-based pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for pain. According to the NIH, there are currently 25 million Americans living with daily chronic pain who rely on opioid-based drugs for pain relief. The goal of the PSPP program is to identify and characterize non-addictive therapies for pain.
The program offers testing including an assessment of in vitro and pharmacokinetic profiles, adverse event profiles, addiction liability, and efficacy in models relevant to human pain conditions.
COZY01 and PSPP
An independent evaluation of the potential of COZY01 as a future pain treatment is currently underway under the PSPP program. COZY01 has passed the first level of three and has been selected to move on to the next level where the substance will be tested in a behavioral model to investigate possible effects on the central nervous system and subsequently in different pain models. During the first quarter of the year, CombiGene and Zyneyro worked on preparatory activities for this next step.